the words were wrung out of the depths of his gloomy portentousness

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Senior Member
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 425, chapter 18) by DH Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Mellors, Connie and Hilda were watching Duncan's paintings, which was all tubes and valves and spirals and strange colours, ultra-modern, yet with a certain power, even a certain purity of form and tone: only Mellors thought it cruel and repellent. Duncan, the artist, got angry…)

It was a dismal party, in which the artist henceforth steadily ignored the presence of the other man(Mellors), and talked only briefly, as if the words were wrung out of the depths of his gloomy portentousness, to the women.

I take wrung to be squeezed, but what's the meaning of gloomy portentousness please? There are several definitions for portentous. So how should I understand this sentence?

Thank you in advance
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  • Scott AM

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    I'd go with the definition, where the word means "overly self-important; pompous".
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